International Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers – consensus on oversight mechanism

Bern, 22.02.2013 - Agreement has been reached on the Charter for the Oversight Mechanism of the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers (ICoC). A large group of representatives from signatory companies, civil society and governments were involved in the successful negotiations, which were held in Montreux from 19 and 22 February 2013.

The purpose of this independent governance and oversight mechanism, which will be based in Geneva, is to ensure the effective implementation of the ICoC through the certification and monitoring of private security providers, as well as through the adoption of a third-party complaint process. The Code of Conduct explicitly prohibits a number of activities, including the use of force (except in self-defence), torture, discrimination and human trafficking.

The ICoC initiative was launched by Switzerland on 9 November 2010 and is based on the “Montreux Document on pertinent international legal obligations and good practices for States related to operations of private military and security companies during armed conflict” of 17 September 2008. Its aim is to ensure that the actions of private security providers do not contravene human rights or international humanitarian law. To date, almost 600 private security companies have signed the ICoC.

The Swiss government would like to thank everyone who was involved in the negotiations, as well as the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) for contributing to the successful outcome of the talks.

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